Crowding, grouping, and gain control in schizophrenia
isual paradigms are versatile tools to investigate the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Contextual modulation refers to a class of paradigms where a target is flanked by neighbouring elements, which either deteriorate or facilitate target perception. It is often proposed that contextual modulation is weakened in schizophrenia compared to controls, with facilitating contexts being less facilitating and deteriorating contexts being less deteriorating. However, results are mixed. In addition, facilitating and deteriorating effects are usually determined in different paradigms, making comparisons difficult. Here, we used a crowding paradigm in which both facilitation and deterioration effects can be determined all together. We found a main effect of group, i.e., patients performed worse in all conditions compared to controls. However, when we discounted for this main effect, facilitation and deterioration were well comparable to controls. Our results indicate that contextual modulation can be intact in schizophrenia patients.